Improvement is still needed for Alabama football in stopping the run and securing tackles; however, head coach Nick Saban will take the 56-14 victory over Louisiana.
The duo of Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts miss fired on just two passes, as the two combined to complete 12 of 14 attempts for 246 yards with three touchdowns.
Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle both turned in career games. Ruggs led the team in receptions (five) and totaled 116 receiving yards with two scores.
Waddle, a freshman, brought in three passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns – including a 94-yard catch and burst to the end zone from Mac Jones.
Saban was very pleased with the efforts of Tagovailoa and Hurts. With Hurts in particular, he mentioned on how offensive coordinator Michael Locksley and quarterbacks’ coach Dan Enos have developed him.
“He stuck in the pocket, read the coverages and made some really good plays,” Saban said of Hurts.
During the Tide’s week of practice, the goal was to get the run game more establish.
Alabama had better production against the Ragin’ Cajuns, tallying 268 yards with three touchdowns on 46 carries. Najee Harris led the team in rushing with 73 yards and one touchdown on 11 attempts.
Brian Robinson totaled 65 yards on 12 carries, while Josh Jacobs anchored the group with two scores. Even true freshman Jerome Ford got in on the action, collecting 33 yards on three carries.
Deionte Thompson carried the defense with seven tackles.
Dylan Moses and Mack Wilson paced the first-team group to not allowing a score, while recording nine total tackles combined. The trio of Trevon Diggs, Christian Miller and Raekwon Davis each had four tackles apiece. Diggs and Xavier McKinney helped Alabama own the turnover battle as both secured one interception each. The second-team unit must develop consistency on the field, but for the most part, these are coachable errors that can be fixed.
Even with Joseph Bulovas missing a pair of field goals, Saban said he kicked well all week in practice and that the team “is continuing to coach him with confidence.” The redshirt freshman did make all of his extra points and totaled quite a few touchbacks on kickoffs.
Prior to finding the end zone twice as a receiver, Waddle cross into the painted grass on a 63-yard punt return in the first quarter. After having a few strong attempts called back because of penalties, it was great to see him score on special teams. Alabama is now 5-0 on the season and with Arkansas next on the schedule, it now enters the gauntlet where strong play is important.